Bob Denton, TD Commercial Banking

Bob Denton, TD Commercial Banking

Leadership Waterloo Region Class of 2006

The Leadership Day that focused on the thorny community issue of poverty was held at the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank. It had been mentioned in previous years that the layout of the Food Bank facilities was not optimal, but it wasn’t until the Class of 2006 heard this that action was taken. It was proposed that a group of people from the class work on this project to see what could be done for the Food Bank. The result was an in-kind donation valued at more than $40,000 and a detailed plan for the Food Bank to guide future renovations.

During our Community Learning Day on poverty, our Leadership Waterloo Region Class met at the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank. Pat Singleton, the Executive Director, mentioned that the Food Bank facility needed a doorway between two adjacent rooms on the second floor. It occurred to me that such a project would be fairly simple to complete, and fun to work on. A group of members of the Class of 2006 agreed to work on it.

My brother, Doug Denton, is an Architect and, given the age and structure of the building, I "volunteered" him to visit the site to assess what would need to be done. Through discussion it was determined the proper location of the door would be critical to the future functionality of the building and efficiency of the workings of the Food Bank. The initial proposed location for a new door proved not to be ideal. This led to the Food Bank management developing a "Must Have" list and a "Would Like to Have" list. Various concerns about the current operations and service delivery were evident in these two lists.

Doug, through extensive consultation with the Executive Director, and with the help of Leadership Waterloo Region Class Members, decided a facility assessment would prioritize work to be done. This would also provide a construction cost estimate for the various project components that would need to be undertaken. This assessment was then presented to the Board of Directors. Today, the Food Bank is still without a door, but they now have a roadmap for the next several years that will provide greater value in terms of their being able to undertake remedial/reconstructive work in a prudent, logical manner, and better deliver service to a community greatly in need of their services.

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